Frasers Solar Farm

Featuring a generation capacity of 75 megawatts (MW), Frasers Solar Farm is a utility-scale renewable energy facility located about 2km south of the Toongabbie township and 5km north of the Glengarry township in eastern Victoria.

 

Spanning across 110 hectares, the Frasers Solar Farm project is expected to generate enough clean energy to supply around 29,000 homes with clean renewable energy. This will assist Australia in reducing carbon dioxide emissions by roughly the equivalent of 154,000 tonnes per year and support a transition towards a more sustainable economy in the Latrobe Valley.

The project is currently in the process of obtaining planning approval and is envisaged to commence construction in 2021 and to be fully operational in 2022. The project is expected to stimulate growth of new businesses, employers, skills and training providers in industries with a promising and sustainable future.

Further details about the project, including copies of planning application documents and FAQs can be found below.

PROJECT DETAILS: PLANNING & ENVIRONMENT

The planning permit application was submitted to the relevant authority in November 2019, for “the use and development of land for a solar energy facility and utility installations including the construction of buildings and the carrying out of works, the removal of native vegetation, and business identification signage.”

Please find copies of the planning permit application documents for the project below:

Our Approach

Frasers Solar Farm will bring empowerment and economic growth to the local community. Our continual open dialogue with the local residents, community groups, the Council and relevant authorities ensures that all opinions and ideas are considered in the process. We appreciate the input from members of the local community and always strive to work in conjunction with them to answer any enquiries about the project.

 

Furthermore, we have undertaken a variety of in-depth environmental assessments and engineering studies to pinpoint any potential impact to the environment and manage them before moving forward. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Preservation of cultural and heritage sites;
  • Management of traffic conditions;
  • Biodiversity assessment by understanding studying the local ecology (both flora and fauna);
  • Surface water evaluation to ensure the integrity of the existing watercourse; and
  • Visual landscaping assessment and natural screening to mitigate any potential impacts.
  • to ensure that the development will benefit the municipality in the long term;

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the project can be found here.

Facts & Figures

Proposed Capacity
75 MWac

Households Powered
29,000

CO2 Avoided
154,000 t/Year

Investment
$110 million

Expected Operation in
2022

Operation Life
30 years

SOLAR FARM DESIGN

Frasers Solar Farm will comprise solar panels similar to those found on ordinary residential homes. Individual panels will be approximately 1m wide by 2m high and will be attached to single-axis tracking systems that follow the sun from east to west, maximising sun exposure and power production.

Raised approximately 1m to 2m above the ground, the panels will be between 2m and 4m high, with maximum height reached early and late in the day, when the panels are tilted to capture the sun at its lowest. To avoid shading and enable access, the tracking systems will be spaced approximately 5-10m apart, which means they will only cover less than half of the available land.

The large gaps between the solar panels (not to mention the large space beneath them) can be put to agricultural uses such as sheep grazing. This practice has become commonplace globally, with sheep thriving in the sheltered conditions.

The solar farm will be set back from the boundary. This includes landscape buffering to protect the area’s visual amenity and an additional firebreak, which will double as an internal access track.

The landscape buffer will include a mix of indigenous shrubs and trees of varied heights and will have the added benefit of creating important new habitats for native fauna, thus supporting the region’s biodiversity.

HOW WILL THE PROJECT OPERATE?

The Frasers Solar Farm will comprise of solar PV panels that are similar to those found on ordinary residential homes. These panels, however, will be fastened to single-axis tracking structures that will move from east to west as the day progresses, tracking the sun’s position throughout the day. This function guarantees the highest level of sun exposure possible to the panels and maximises their power production.

The output of the solar PV arrays is converted by inverters from Direct Current (DC) to Alternating Current (AC). Next, it will go through transformers where the voltage is stepped up to the required level for grid connection. Ultimately, the power will be fed into our electricity grid known as the National Electricity Market (NEM). The NEM supports around 80% of the entire Australian population with electricity and is one of the most expansive electrical networks in the world.

Project Timeline

Action Timing
Stakeholder Consultation Ongoing
Planning Permit Application In Progress
Grid Connectiont Application In Progress
Commence construction (subject to authority approval) 2021
Solar Farm Operation 2022
Reinstall full agricultural use or, if permitted, upgrade solar farm equipment 2050-2055